TaxPayers' Alliance reveals November's "Pin-Up" and "Pinhead" of the Month

November 24, 2011 1:00 AM


Today the TaxPayers’ Alliance announces the latest recipients of its monthly awards to celebrate those in power who have sought to save – and waste – taxpayers’ money.


The man, woman or organisation to be congratulated for saving public money or acting in the interests of the hard-pressed taxpayer is named the TPA’s “Pin-Up of the Month”, while whoever is found to have shown the greatest disregard for taxpayers’ cash is shamed as the TPA’s “Pinhead of the Month”.


November 2011’s Pin-Up of the Month is Martin Callanan MEP, the Conservative MEP for the North East of England who also leads his party’s delegation in Brussels.  This month he has consistently put country and constituency before loyalty to his party or the Coalition Government, most recently in his reaction to the closure of the Alcan aluminium smelter in Northumberland. It will shut as a result of soaring energy costs and punishing green taxes – an issue the TPA highlighted last week in a paper, Industrial masochism: The carbon floor price and energy intensive industry.


Mr Callanan observed that the workers being made redundant in his constituency were seeing “their livelihoods sacrificed to the obsession with all things green”, and that alongside the previous Labour administration and Brussels-inspired regulations, “our Government is partly to blame”. On the Eurozone crisis, he has given a refreshingly honest assessment of the situation, calling for Greece to default on its debt and leave the euro, whilst he has also fervently opposed any increase in the EU budget while national budgets are being cut.


Meanwhile, the TPA’s Pinhead of the Month for November is Cllr Jason Kitcat, a Green Party councillor in Brighton and Hove, where he is Cabinet member for Finance & Central Services in the Green minority administration. He has been boasting this month about his administration’s decision to refuse the Government funding which would allow for a freeze in council tax next year and to instead impose a 3.5% increase in council tax for Brighton and Hove residents.


Jonathan Isaby, Political Director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, commented:




“TheTaxPayers’ Alliance has always believed that key to delivering taxpayer value for money is exposing those in power to public scrutiny by ensuring that there is transparency and openness in how they spend our hard-earned cash. And as well as making examples of those who have shown a disregard for public money, it is important to recognise those who have tried to do the right thing by taxpayers.


“Martin Callanan has shown himself to be a doughty defender both of British interests when it comes to fighting increases in the EU Budget and also of his constituents in the North East, whose jobs are being destroyed by the Government’s misguided green taxes. It has also been refreshing to hear a British politician saying about the Greek economy what so many others are thinking but have dared not say. He is a worthy Pin-Up of the Month.


“Sadly, Jason Kitcat seems to revel in being part of the only council administration anywhere in the land currently planning to increase council tax next year, when most others are seeking to implement a freeze or a cut. Council tax payers in Brighton and Hove have every right to feel dismayed that their civic leaders have so little regard for their hard-earned cash that they want to snatch even more of it.


“Council tax virtually doubled over the last decade – without an equivalent increase in quality or quantity of services - so Cllr Kitcat and his colleagues should be looking at how to make savings from what they are already taking. Earlier in the year we found the council’s mileage rate to be 65p, rather than the HMRC-recommended level of 45p, whilst it was still employing three “European Officers” and three political advisers. Has anything been done to rectify that waste of taxpayers’ money? Other councils are cutting their coats according to their cloth: Brighton and Hove should follow suit.”


Today the TaxPayers’ Alliance announces the latest recipients of its monthly awards to celebrate those in power who have sought to save – and waste – taxpayers’ money.


The man, woman or organisation to be congratulated for saving public money or acting in the interests of the hard-pressed taxpayer is named the TPA’s “Pin-Up of the Month”, while whoever is found to have shown the greatest disregard for taxpayers’ cash is shamed as the TPA’s “Pinhead of the Month”.


November 2011’s Pin-Up of the Month is Martin Callanan MEP, the Conservative MEP for the North East of England who also leads his party’s delegation in Brussels.  This month he has consistently put country and constituency before loyalty to his party or the Coalition Government, most recently in his reaction to the closure of the Alcan aluminium smelter in Northumberland. It will shut as a result of soaring energy costs and punishing green taxes – an issue the TPA highlighted last week in a paper, Industrial masochism: The carbon floor price and energy intensive industry.


Mr Callanan observed that the workers being made redundant in his constituency were seeing “their livelihoods sacrificed to the obsession with all things green”, and that alongside the previous Labour administration and Brussels-inspired regulations, “our Government is partly to blame”. On the Eurozone crisis, he has given a refreshingly honest assessment of the situation, calling for Greece to default on its debt and leave the euro, whilst he has also fervently opposed any increase in the EU budget while national budgets are being cut.


Meanwhile, the TPA’s Pinhead of the Month for November is Cllr Jason Kitcat, a Green Party councillor in Brighton and Hove, where he is Cabinet member for Finance & Central Services in the Green minority administration. He has been boasting this month about his administration’s decision to refuse the Government funding which would allow for a freeze in council tax next year and to instead impose a 3.5% increase in council tax for Brighton and Hove residents.


Jonathan Isaby, Political Director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, commented:




“TheTaxPayers’ Alliance has always believed that key to delivering taxpayer value for money is exposing those in power to public scrutiny by ensuring that there is transparency and openness in how they spend our hard-earned cash. And as well as making examples of those who have shown a disregard for public money, it is important to recognise those who have tried to do the right thing by taxpayers.


“Martin Callanan has shown himself to be a doughty defender both of British interests when it comes to fighting increases in the EU Budget and also of his constituents in the North East, whose jobs are being destroyed by the Government’s misguided green taxes. It has also been refreshing to hear a British politician saying about the Greek economy what so many others are thinking but have dared not say. He is a worthy Pin-Up of the Month.


“Sadly, Jason Kitcat seems to revel in being part of the only council administration anywhere in the land currently planning to increase council tax next year, when most others are seeking to implement a freeze or a cut. Council tax payers in Brighton and Hove have every right to feel dismayed that their civic leaders have so little regard for their hard-earned cash that they want to snatch even more of it.


“Council tax virtually doubled over the last decade – without an equivalent increase in quality or quantity of services - so Cllr Kitcat and his colleagues should be looking at how to make savings from what they are already taking. Earlier in the year we found the council’s mileage rate to be 65p, rather than the HMRC-recommended level of 45p, whilst it was still employing three “European Officers” and three political advisers. Has anything been done to rectify that waste of taxpayers’ money? Other councils are cutting their coats according to their cloth: Brighton and Hove should follow suit.”

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